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Climbach (Municipality, Bas-Rhin, France)

Last modified: 2012-04-21 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Climbach]

Flag of Climbach - Image by by Ivan Sache, 26 November 2011

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Presentation of Climbach

The municipality of Climbach (523 inhabitants in 2004; 715 ha) is located 10 km south-west of Wissembourg, close to the border with Germany.

Climbach is a mountain village, located 355 m asl in the Hochwald massif. The village is surrounded by a 520-ha forest.
The village is dominated by the porch of a ruined chapel. A local tradition says that hermit Richard built the chapel in the 12th-13th century on the site of a pagan temple. The healing waters of the nearby Cimbronn source made of the chapel a popular place of pilgrimage. One century later, the Cistercian monks from Pfaffenborn erected a second chapel, made of pink sandstone. Another tradition claims that the chapel was built by the villagers of Climbach to honor St. Fridolin of Säckingen and the Blessed Virgin. There is historical evidence that the chapel was destroyed at the end of the Thirty Years' War by the Swedes; the surviving Catholic villagers moved to Wingen and a new village was built in the valley by their Protestant successors.
Climbach has kept one of the last resting banks still visible in Alsace (photo). In 1811, Préfet Lezay-Marnésia, nicknamed "The Farming Préfet" because of its contribution to the modernization of local agriculture, ordered the municipalities to build banks where farmers would rest during their long walks to the markets; in 1811, even more such banks were built to celebrate the birth of the King of Rome, Napoléon's son (1811-1832). The Climbach bank is engraved with the writings Érigé par la commune de Climbach en souvenir du 20 mars 1811 / Rénové en 1906 (Erected by the municipality of Climbach to commemorate 20 March 1811 / Revamped in 1906) and, in the back, with the name of the stone-cutter, Antoine Loesch.

Climbach is the home village of the football referee Robert Wurtz (b. 1941 in Strasbourg). Active in the French First League from 1969 to 1990, Wurtz was one of the first referees able to stay as close as possible to the action. He became famous for his exacerbated body movements and was nicknamed in 1974 "The Nijinsky of the Whistle" after a memorable performance in the Maracana stadium of Rio de Janeiro.

Source: Municipal webpage

Ivan Sache, 26 November 2011

Flag of Climbach

The flag of Climbach, seen in front of the town hall (June 2008) is white with the municipal coat of arms.
The coat of arms of Climbach is "Argent a heart gules pierced by two arrows azure per saltire". According to the Armorial des communes du Bas-Rhin, the arms, adopted in the 18th century, have no known meaning.

Pascal Vagnat, 26 November 2011